Best Keto Sweetener
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Each Keto dieter has his or her favorite sweeteners for baking and flavoring foods and beverages, without the carbs found in traditional sweeteners. As you learn more about your keto diet, you quickly discover the importance of sweetening alternatives in a keto diet.
All forms of sugars turn into glucose during the digestive process. So generally speaking, the keto diet contains little to no sugar, save a bit in fruits, eaten in small portions.
So if you want to make desserts, you should find a favorite sweetener, and utilize it to good use. We have compiled a list of some of keto-dieter’s favorite low carb sweeteners.
Try a few until you find one that provides the kind of sweetness you crave. In our list, we have chosen both natural and artificial sweetening options, as well as what to watch out for when it comes to sweeteners and a keto diet.
Related Article: 16 Easy Keto Dessert Recipes
Stevia is a plant based sweetener made from the stevia plant, and it has a very high natural sweetness with almost no calories. It is far sweeter than sugar, and therefore you need a lot less of it to get the same effect.
Stevia is all natural and some studies have even shown that it can lower blood sugar levels. Stevia has a distinct taste that is reminiscent of a root plants like licorice. It may be an acquired taste, but stevia has the advantage of being earth made.
Sucralose is an artificial sweetener (like Splenda for example) that provides a sweet taste, without the bitterness of some artificial sweeteners. It can be used as an easy sweetener for drinks or topping foods, but can become dangerous if cooked.
It contains some carbs, and is considered low calorie due to the fact that the body cannot integrate it in the digestion process.
Made from sugar alcohol, erythritol is nearly as sweet as sugar; and yet is only 5% of the calories. At four grams of carbs per teaspoon, you will have to measure this sweetner to keep it in balance.
Studies show that it can help lower blood sugar levels. Many keto cooks recommend the powdered sugar version, which mimics real powdered sugar in dessert recipes, allowing for a variety of dessert options. You’ll need an extra ⅓ of a cup per one cup of sugar as a substitute.
Xylitol is a sugar alcohol, and is a sweet as sugar with only grams of carbs per teaspoon. Because sugar alcohols do not raise blood sugar, their net carbs are lower.
It exchanges with sugar at a 1:1 ratio, and can be used to sweeten drinks, or for baking. It acts just like sugar, making it a great choice for baking.
Some sweeteners carry their own distinct flavor, which you may not want. It can sometimes found to be gritty in texture, as it doesn’t melt as sugar does in baked goods.
Monk Fruit Sweetener
Monk fruit sweetener is extracted from the monk fruit, which grows in China. Its sweetness comes from mogrosides, which are natural antioxidants. It is hundreds of times sweeter than sugar.
Ironically, it contains no sugar and no carbs, too. That makes it a natural, no carb sweetener that can be used for a variety of purposes.
Make sure to buy only pure monk fruit sweetener, without sugar based additives like honey or molasses. Monk Fruit sweetener can be used at a 1:1 ratio substitute for sugar. Some say even less as it is very sweet.
Yacon syrup comes from the roots of a tuber native to south america. It contains substances that your body cannot integrate, so it’s net carbs are lower than they appear. It has 20 calories per teaspoon.
Yacon syrup is best used for sweetening drinks, but less suited for baking. It has the added plus of being all natural, and even reducing blood sugar levels.
Nativa is a blend of stevia and erythritol, and is great for baking. Because of the blend, the intense flavor of stevia is less overwhelming.
Swerve is another erythritol blend, this time with oligosaccharides, another sugar substitute, which is very popular due to its neutral taste.
It adds enough sweetness and is great for baking, without the heavy flavor of stevia. It also does not influence glucose levels in your blood.
Beware of Deceptive Packaging
FDA rules allow for products with less than one gram of carbs to be sold as “no carbs”. So some sweetener manufacturers mix .9 grams of carbs with artificial sweetener and call it no carb.
Actually, each little package contains almost a gram of carbs, and at 20 grams of total carbs per day, a few packets can add up to a significant portion of your carb budget for the day.
The bottom line: experiment for yourself to see which is your favorite sweetener. One concern may be your budget, as some of these sweeteners, such a monk fruit sweetener, are not cheap. Still, there are low cost alternatives that are so close to sugar you could fool your friends and family into thinking you’ve made a full sugar dessert.
Swerve, Xylitol, and Erythritol (in powdered sugar form) are the best sweeteners for baking, because they lack an aftertaste, and behave like sugar in recipes. For sweetening drinks, you can try sucralose or swerve.
The beauty of these sweeteners is that they add the sensation of sweetness without the blood sugar spikes that high glucose sugars cause, and the side effects of those spikes on mood and health.
Some sugar substitutes actually cause blood sugar levels to lower. So you can enjoy desserts without feeling bad afterwards.
With wonderful keto friendly ingredients such as heavy cream, butter, nuts and nut flours, cheeses, and coconut cream provide a great base for sinfully rich desserts that won’t wreck your diet.
In fact, the high fat levels in these foods, combined with low carb sweeteners, makes for so many different delicious keto dessert options.